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Jared Steven Destro

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Everything posted by Jared Steven Destro

  1. @Luis Hernández Thank you for your comment! This work took a good long time, but I am proud of it. No matter the work, I always take tremendous care with it. I wanted to keep it simple and straightforward, and I'm glad you enjoyed the string writing. My time in the Czech Republic is very important to me, and I can always look back on this piece to reflect. Most of the time while writing, I think in terms of tonal centers, and so the phrases tend to be very tonal. With that said, I try to keep the melodic lines free and independent, so I enjoy composing without tonal restrictions. Nonetheless, I have a handful of other, similar projects but I hope to revise soon. Thanks for the feedback. It is always appreciated!!
  2. @Tónskáld Thank you once again for your in-depth comment -- it means a lot! I can find myself having a hard time making such extensive comments on the forum (I most certainly am minimalist in many aspects). Nonetheless, I am glad you enjoyed!
  3. While I am not as familiar with this piece as I am sure you now are, I felt you managed to capture the piece effectively for the orchestra! It certainly felt quite natural. My critique would be to be cautious in excessive line-doubling. For instance, in m. 64, while I understand the rationale in doubling the line of say the first violin, I can envision the woodwinds providing rhythmic accentuation there rather than simply following the lead of the violins (with the second violins following the first, but an octave down, a more resonant logic). The dialogue that you develop between the instruments, mm. 36 - 44 as an example, felt much more liquid and effective. Great job, nonetheless!
  4. I enjoyed this! If possible, could you post the score (it'll help us comment on specifics)? I think you did well with beginning the process of thickening a texture. I think what might help improve this piece would be taking a dense texture and exploring ways to reduce it, then add to it, reduce it etc. Moreover, I think that experimenting more with less regular rhythmic configurations will break a bit of the monotony that can begin to develop; pushing a little further will make it feel less like an exercise. Overall, I think you did a good job!
  5. I really enjoyed this! Suspensions were well utilized, it was orchestrated well (b. 18, for instance), and the length of the piece felt appropriate. At bar 28, I welcomed your inclusion of a sort-of 'connector' between the sections in the second trumpet; perhaps I could have done with more instances of this, though for the chorale-style I certainly understand why you did not (it isn't necessary, I don't think). Good job!
  6. Thank you, Luis! I felt that my catalogue was lacking a set of piano pieces, so I felt this to be the perfect motivator. As for the pieces you mention, the serenade was composed to replicate the movement of the fish in the water -- jerky, flowing, liquid. Occasionally, they kick up sand and create a cloud of uncertainty. The dirge is very different. The notes are deliberately empty, using whole notes and the like to further reflect the feeling of solitude (at least for the pianist who is reading it). It is a stark piece with a measured, cog-like movement. Additionally, I intend for the two pedals to create a compounding effect, in essence, muddying the sound.
  7. @Luis Hernández Thank you for your input! It is those pedal positions that I have yet to understand about the instrument, but I know that I will in time.
  8. Jordan, That would be very nice, and I would love to see what they might think of it as well!
  9. This is a set of pieces I composed in Prague this past autumn. I have revised them several times since, and each movement accompanies a painting by artist Paul Klee (which I have included in the score). The piece is dedicated to a friend of mine from Austria who is very fond of art, and we went to several galleries together (hence the inspiration). While I am pianist myself, I specialize in improvisation in a style very different from this, so any feedback from the pianists would be most welcome! https://youtu.be/ldbzsicGfsE
  10. @Tónskáld Thank you! Unfortunately, I do not know any performers (as I have never had my music performed). Currently, I am revising my catalogue so that I will at least have a medley of small solo/chamber pieces ready to go when I enter my MMus program in the autumn. My hope is that I can then consult with performers, though I have hardly had any luck as of yet. And thanks for noticing! I was, for the most part, very conscious of taming chromatic passages and trying to envision hand movements for the harpist (as much as I could imagine, anyway). We'll just have to see how it goes in the future. This set was composed sort of as a side-project to bide time (that is, I would work on it to fill time between other projects, or when I could not sleep). Thanks again for your feedback :)
  11. Here is a small set of three pieces inspired by different figures in Seneca mythology/folklore! I hope to improve my harp writing, so any tips/advice on that would be greatly welcomed. The colors were used as a reference for myself while composing (I think of music in terms of color), and they themselves allude to the "triptych" I was attempting to create. (The score is left in concert pitch)
  12. Luis, a great piece! The rhythmic variety/gentle offsets in the introductory section were well done. You do well with exploring and balancing the density of your textures. Good job!
  13. I enjoyed the overall lyricism of this piece. At times, like m. 20, I found myself wanting a bit more rhythmic variety, so as to generate a bit more propulsion in the overall line. I can also envision a fuller, even stronger close to the piece (maybe more complete chords, though of course be cautious with playability/indication). In general, I thought it to be a great start, and I can see it going in a lot of different ways in the future (if you add to it)!
  14. I enjoyed this very much! I found it to be fun and well-crafted, with the orchestral color being very well-developed. The transition around 2:50 was very successful, I felt. Great job!
  15. @Tónskáld Thank you very much for your comment. Ironically enough, Frank Lloyd Wright is very familiar to me and he is my favorite architect (I was actually just at his Martin House Complex here in Buffalo, where his designs were inspirational). Your comment humbles me, and I am very grateful! As for the score, I work in three stages: first, I compose the piece with or without a plan ahead of time; second, I make revisions on it (usually rewriting the piece from scratch, adding details or changing the structure); and then, I tidy it visually, creating a cover template in Word and combining it with the score. I love typefaces and fonts, so I spend a lot of time researching them!
  16. This piece was begun while I was still studying in Prague. The instrumentation is a straight-forward ode to the Baroque-style of concerto writing, having a more intimate, chamber feel. Moreover, I wanted each of the movements to say both something of the country, as well as recount one of my own memories from my time there. Each movement is therefore a dedication to a particular figure in Czechoslovak history and they move in chronological order (beginning with its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire under Masaryk, c. 1918). The first movement recalls a November hike in the outskirts of Prague, where it is far more rural and moderately hilly. I was with a couple of friends and we walked the path until we ended up getting lost, having taken the wrong turn. The music reflects this by consistently ‘losing its place’ and becoming diverted: phrasing is often truncated, the rhythms hesitate in precision, and the oboe frequent reaches to it's higher register in swooning melodies. The piece in essence depicts the Bohemian woods, which are culturally very important. For this reason, I chose Masaryk – the first Czechoslovak president and a symbolic ‘father of the nation’— as the dedicatee for this movement. The second movement is for pacifist teacher Přemysl Pitter, who aided young Jewish, German, and Czech children who were prosecuted/abandoned during and after the Second World War. My professor – who was transfixed on American Quakers and pacifism – had a particular affinity for Pitter, and we visited his house in Žižkov. The piece is primarily tranquil, though the central section is spritely and dance-like. The final movement is dedicated to the first president following the fall of the one-party system in the Velvet Revolution, Václav Havel, who was a playwright. During the communist rule, he was imprisoned several times for his political activities and his writings (via Samizdat). The music is frantic and, at times, scattered, with bits of material struggling to shine through. In essence, sections of the music are ‘censored,’ and themes from all three movements are combined as the music continues.
  17. @CalibriStandard Thank you kindly for your feedback! This was built on Satie's Gymnopédie No. 1, and the theme is most apparent in the central section at bar 57. The piece needs a bit more work, but I hope to do a whole set of these compositions.
  18. Thank you for the in-depth analysis; you have given me a lot to think about. I appreciate that!
  19. I think you have established a nice melody, and I like the concept of symphonic studies. What might be an interesting exercise is, rather than writing in repeat bars, write out the supposed repeated section and see what you can do to vary it. Given the length of the piece, it wouldn't have to be much, but it can help you out of your comfort zone a little bit, if that is something on which you feel you can improve. Nice work!
  20. I felt that these pieces were very expressive and I enjoyed the textures you present. Moreover, I felt that you did well to maintain an organic progression of material. I also felt that your harmonic vocabulary is intriguing and colorful. Ultimately, I think this is an effective piece. Nice work!
  21. I thought this was a good foray into writing a concerto -- I will say that I found it to resemble Bach's Siciliano movement (BWV 1053, ii) a bit too much. I think that it can be beneficial to have models like this, though only as a starting place (for instance, as a basis for the form of your piece). With that said, I think that you manage the textures quite well and that you do a fair job organizing your material. I would not necessarily say that it is short, though, I would avoid thinking of composition in this way. I feel that what's more effective is thinking about how well you explored the areas created by what material you have presented. For instance, asking yourself questions like, "Have I developed my motifs/melodies/textures in a way that is satisfactory?" or, "Am I pleased with how I crafted my music?" Questions like these can help you stay grounded and oriented when writing; either way, it is always safe to say that you have to start somewhere in order to get to where you want. Good job!
  22. I found the narrative of this piece to be very natural, and the transitions between sections was well-conceived. I also enjoyed your orchestration, particularly in the harp's section. You did well at shifting momentum and textures throughout the work, as well. Good job!
  23. Interesting point; it'd have to be left to the imagination in any matter, given the virtual performers. Though, in practice, I actively seek that sort of input from performers. Thanks!
  24. Welcome, and thanks for posting! I feel your piece was very emotional and definitely suggestive of a film score. Moreover, it had a very nice sense of motion. If ever possible, attach the score because that allows us to get more concrete with our comments. Either way, I felt you did a good job here!
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